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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 01-04-09, 12:32 AM   #1
Robert_in_ca
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Which brakes for Dura Ace STI

I wrecked my Cannondale road bike, so I'm switching all the parts off it onto a Specialized Tricross frame. The gruppo is 7800 Dura Ace 10 speed, and the wheels are 7850SL Dura Ace.

I'm thinking of using a travel agent with XTR V Brakes. Any other suggestions better than this?
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Old 01-04-09, 05:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Robert_in_ca View Post
I wrecked my Cannondale road bike, so I'm switching all the parts off it onto a Specialized Tricross frame. The gruppo is 7800 Dura Ace 10 speed, and the wheels are 7850SL Dura Ace.

I'm thinking of using a travel agent with XTR V Brakes. Any other suggestions better than this?
I'm sorry to hear about the Cannondale. Congratulations on the Tricross though. You might wind up getting your dream bike out that mishap. Quite honestly, Shimano makes the really nice BR550 cantilevers that don't need that ugly Travel Agent to function. Cantilevers work great when set up properly. Good luck.
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Old 01-04-09, 07:30 AM   #3
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Tektro CR720 ftw
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Old 01-04-09, 10:01 AM   #4
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Tektro CR720 ftw
I saw a set on a bike yesterday. They looked real nice. I always llike wide profile cantilevers. Is there any issue with heel strike on the rear brakes?
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Old 01-04-09, 11:18 AM   #5
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Would the V-brake+travel agent be stronger than the CR720?'s I don't mind the looks of the travel agent.

Thanks
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Old 01-04-09, 11:46 AM   #6
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+1 for the BR550's.
I am running them with STI's on a Soma DoubleCross.
I was considering TravelAgents with V-brakes, but after doing searches on the topic, found a lot of people who expressed the opinion that rating brake performance ranked from best to worst is as follows:

1. V-brakes
2. Cantilevers
3. V-brakes with TravelAgents

BTW I have a pair of TravelAgents on hand, and was very put off when I realized the installation requires putting a 90-degree kink in the brake cable.
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Old 01-04-09, 12:32 PM   #7
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BTW I have a pair of TravelAgents on hand, and was very put off when I realized the installation requires putting a 90-degree kink in the brake cable.
Why is that a problem?
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Old 01-04-09, 12:42 PM   #8
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I was considering TravelAgents with V-brakes, but after doing searches on the topic, found a lot of people who expressed the opinion that rating brake performance ranked from best to worst is as follows:
1. V-brakes
2. Cantilevers
3. V-brakes with TravelAgents
A travel agent doubles the pull of a brake lever. Short pull levers (such as road levers) don't pull enough cable for use with V brakes.

People dislike travel agents because (1) they look kludgey, (2) they add (minimal) weight, (3) they didn't set them up correctly, and/or (4) they completely misunderstand how they work and why they are necessary.

When used correctly with short pull levers and V brakes, travel agents have less friction than a cable noodle and work great.
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Old 01-04-09, 12:48 PM   #9
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Would the V-brake+travel agent be stronger than the CR720?'s
This is worth spending some time to understand:
Mechanical Advantage
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Old 01-04-09, 05:18 PM   #10
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V brakes with travel agents work better than the any of the cantilevers I have used before, but I just ordered a set of Paul Neo Retro's for my commute bike so maybe they will be better. That said, the Avid S7 or Avid Ultimate V brakes worked better than Shimano V brakes, ESPECIALLY when things got dirty. Avoid the Shimano V bakes, the parallel pad mechanism squeals and/or fills with crud and sticks.
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Old 01-04-09, 08:52 PM   #11
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Cool, good info, thanks all. That's good to know about the Shimano V's. So I'm looking at QBP and I can get the Paul Motolites for a little more than the Ultimates. Any advantage of one over the other?
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Old 01-04-09, 09:22 PM   #12
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get the trp's. they're cheaper than the paul's & i like them better.
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Old 01-04-09, 09:29 PM   #13
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I had problems with the TRP's. I use neo retro front, touring canti rear.
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Old 01-04-09, 09:47 PM   #14
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i have avid shorty 6's and i really like them...
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Old 01-05-09, 03:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by flargle View Post
When used correctly with short pull levers and V brakes, travel agents have less friction than a cable noodle and work great.
It's virtually impossible to have a longer cable and then wrap it around a pulley and say it has less friction.
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Old 01-05-09, 06:51 AM   #16
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It's virtually impossible to have a longer cable and then wrap it around a pulley and say it has less friction.
The only friction comes from the axle of the pulley. It's irrelevant how much cable runs around it.

Compare with a noodle, which has a length of cable rubbing against teflon every time you brake. A small amount of grit can gum up the works, until the teflon wears away completely.

Last edited by flargle; 01-05-09 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 01-05-09, 08:13 AM   #17
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I agree with flargle--CR720s are the best option for cross applications (mud clearance) and offer the best cost-to-performance ratio for everyday applications ($20/brake). Lightweight, well-engineered and manufactured, with lots of modulation and power. Also eliminated the carbon fork/squeal problem I had with Avid Shortys--although they've revamped their design this year, so I have no idea what the new ones are like.

Combined with the pinch-bolt straddle, I don't find them terribly hard to set up, either. Tektro has some cheap/poopy products, but they really hit it spot-on with this one.
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Old 01-05-09, 10:07 AM   #18
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I would be afraid to take my cross bike off road with the risk of breaking a DA brifter if I went down. They cost a stupid amount of money ($500+) I'll stick to Tiagra brifters and a 9 speed drivetrain.
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Old 01-05-09, 10:29 AM   #19
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I would be afraid to take my cross bike off road with the risk of breaking a DA brifter if I went down. They cost a stupid amount of money ($500+) I'll stick to Tiagra brifters and a 9 speed drivetrain.

They're already banged up from this crash

They seem to be pretty resilient.
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Old 01-05-09, 10:36 AM   #20
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Mmmmm....Paul brakes.....
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Old 01-07-09, 11:32 AM   #21
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I'm going to be honest, I think those look terrible.
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Old 01-07-09, 11:56 AM   #22
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There's no accounting for taste.
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Old 01-08-09, 04:49 PM   #23
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If its a race bike, swapping wheels without having to undo the straddle cable is a consideration if you don't have a spare bike and a mechanic. Some brakes have more travel then others and don't allow you to pull a 34 straight out. I think the last thing you want to do is go into a corner hot out of the pit and learn that you forgot do put the straddle cable back because you were in a hurry.
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Old 01-09-09, 02:26 PM   #24
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it took me along time to figure out how to set up the TRPs but i really like them. cantis work better with sti, i see no reason to use travel agents w/ v brakes, shimano or or the cane creeks cantis are really simple to set up and use...
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Old 01-10-09, 04:36 AM   #25
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Tektro CR720 ftw
+amillion. they stop like the dickens and don't squeal like everything else at at that price. And they look great.
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